Donna Fletcher Crow, Novelist of British History, has written more than 50 books specializing in British Christianity. These books include: The Monastery Murders, clerical mysteries; Lord Danvers Investigates, Victorian true-crime; The Elizabeth and Richard series, literary suspense; and Glastonbury, The Novel of Christian England. She loves research and sharing you-are-there experiences with her readers.
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Donna Fletcher Crow, Novelist of British History
A traveling researcher engages people and places from Britain's past and present, drawing comparisons and contrasts between past and present for today's reader.
By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ May 10, 2011
What a fun idea. Mystery Writer and blogger Marilyn Meredith and I are exchanging blogs today. Please stay right here and enjoy Marilyn's story of the influences on her writing life and learn about her latest book Angel Lost, but as soon as you're through, go on over to Marilyn's blog (http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com/2011/05/donna-crows-research-for-her-monastery.html) and read about how my research influences my writing and my recent experiences researching in Wales.
And now, Here's Marilyn:
My Writing Life
Looking back, I think I was always a writer. My first attempt was before I could actually write. I would listen to the soap opera "My Gal Sunday" on the radio with mom and draw pictures about the story. Once I actually learned to write, I wrote all sorts of stories. At first, mostly like the ones I was reading in particular, I know I wrote my version of a "Little House on the Prairie" story. During my growing up years I wrote plays for the neighborhood kids to perform and short stories and articles that I published in my own magazine.
While my children were young, my writing was confined to PTA newsletters and play for my Camp Fire Girls to be in.
When my sister presented me with our family genealogy I knew I had to write a book about the adventures and solve some of the mysteries left hanging in her research. First I wrote a family historical novel based on my mom's side of the family. When I was done I sent it out to publishers and it was rejected nearly 30 times before I received an acceptance letter. It was rewritten many times in between. The second book based on my dad's side of the family took nearly as long and as many rewrites to be published.
Having the genealogy covered, I switched to mysteries, which I'd been reading at the time. My first attempt was called The Astral Gift and it was first published by a company that printed 50 copies and disappeared. I met a woman who had a small publishing company and she re-published it and then published the first four in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. Sadly, she passed away and I had to find a new publisher-which I did, Mundania Press.
My Rocky Bluff P.D. series also had two publishers before I found Oak Tree Press which published the latest three in the series, the latest being Angel Lost.
The ideas for my books come from many different places: newspaper articles, stories people tell me, interesting conversations I've overheard, something from my own past.
With Angel Lost, the first idea came from something in our local newspaper. An angel appeared in the plate glass window of a local store night after night, drawing huge crowds. I knew that I had to find a way to work similar phenomena into a story with the characters of the Rocky Bluff P.D. Slowly, ideas began to formulate. I knew which characters I wanted to spotlight and I began building the story. Because there are several ongoing characters, the cops and their families, in this series, I always want to show what's happening in their lives as background to whatever crime or crimes might be investigated. In Angel Lost I wanted Officer Stacey Wilbur and Detective Doug Milligan to at least get close to being married.
As plans for her perfect wedding fill her mind, Officer Stacey Wilbur is sent out to trap a flasher, the new hire realizes Rocky Bluff P.D. is not the answer to his problems, Abel Navarro's can't concentrate on the job because of worry about his mother, Officer Gordon Butler has his usual upsets, the sudden appearance of an angel in the window of a furniture store captures everyone's imagination and causes problems for RBPD, and then the worst possible happens-will Stacey and Doug's wedding take place?
"A pervert threatens women joggers on the beach, a robber threatens wealthy homes on the bluff, and an angel watches over the townspeople from a downtown window. F. M. Meredith’s' latest Rocky Bluff P. D. novel is a gentle human drama about loneliness and change, through which the reader is pulled, page after page, by an assortment of compelling criminal curiosities." C. N. Nevets, author of psychological suspense.
F.M. Meredith, also known as Marilyn Meredith, is the author of nearly thirty published novels. Her latest in the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series, from Oak Tree Press, is Angel Lost. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, Four chapters of Sisters in Crime, including the Internet chapter, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Visit her at http://fictionforyou.com.
And now, go to her blog at http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com for my part of the exchange.
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